Cornelius Dupree Exonerated of Rape Charges and FINALLY "Free To Go"
Imagine spending thirty years in prison for a crime you did not commit. Just imagine......
On Tuesday, January 2, 2011 Cornelius Dupree was exonerated in a Dallas courtroom for a rape and robbery that he did not commit. His life was forever changed in 1979 when a rape victim identified Dupree as her attacker. DNA was gathered at the time of the crime and finally in 2011, able to prove his innocence. Dallas County Criminal Court Judge Don Adams told 51 year old Cornelius Dupree Jr., "You are free to go."
Barry Scheck, co-founder of the Innocence Project, shared Dupree's moment of freedom in the courtroom. Mr. Scheck and his organization were instrumental in the release of Mr. Dupree, and hundreds of other men who have wrongly been accused of crimes.
Mr. Scheck commented that "Cornelius Dupree served 30 years in jail, in prison, which is the largest number of years anyone has ever served in the state of TX for a crime in did not commit. This is just extraordinary when you think about it."
Dupree responded: "I'm feeling mixed emotions. I just want to say that I feel that words really won't make up for what I done lost. I just feel that the system needs to be fixed, by whatever means, so this won't happen to anyone else."
Hopefully, Mr. Dupree will have a second chance at life. Unfortunately, thirty years too late.
More information about the Innocence Project:
The Innocence Project was founded in 1992 by Barry C. Scheck and Peter J. Neufeld at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University to assist prisoners who could be proven innocent through DNA testing. To date, 265 people in the United States have been exonerated by DNA testing, including 17 who served time on death row. These people served an average of 13 years in prison before exoneration and release.
The Innocence Project’s full-time staff attorneys and Cardozo clinic students provide direct representation or critical assistance in most of these cases. The Innocence Project’s groundbreaking use of DNA technology to free innocent people has provided irrefutable proof that wrongful convictions are not isolated or rare events but instead arise from systemic defects. Now an independent nonprofit organization closely affiliated with Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, the Innocence Project’s mission is nothing less than to free the staggering numbers of innocent people who remain incarcerated and to bring substantive reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment.